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Day one for Bill Green, the 'change agent'

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Feb 21, 2014 05:20 PM
Photo: Harvey Finkle

Bill Green (right) presiding over his first meeting as chairman of the School Reform Commission.

The boos began as soon as Bill Green walked in the door. He waited 32 minutes to bang his gavel – the first he’s ever wielded.

“I really wanted a bigger gavel,” he said later with a laugh. “But they told me that size doesn’t matter. I guess we’ll find out.”

It was exactly 5:38 p.m. when Green entered the auditorium at 440 N. Broad St. for the first of what will likely be dozens of School Reform Commission meetings – five years’ worth, if all goes according to plan. 

A packed house was primed and ready. Teachers wearing red shirts and union supporters, parents and community activists, volunteers and professionals, familiar faces and new ones, all seething with frustration built up over year after year of budget cuts, deficits, layoffs, closures, fishy deals, flashy plans and unmet promises.

They came to unload on Bill Green.

The first thing he heard was a loud shout: “Mic check!” Next, the room erupted in thunderous chants. “Whose schools? Our schools! Whose city? Our city!”

Green rolled with it. “That’s a great way to start this meeting – ‘Our city, our schools,’” he replied. As the angry shouts died down a bit, he tried to move briskly into the agenda – “We’re here to do the people’ s business,” he said several times – but the interruptions would not stop.

The SRC honored the teacher of the month. “Don’t take his money away!” shouted the crowd. 

Superintendent William Hite tried to give a presentation on the budget. “We’ve heard it!” shouted the crowd. 

Hite pressed on, but the crowd wouldn’t settle down: “You do not have the public trust!” “Talk to the teachers!” “Go to Comcast, and you’ll get the money!” 

In the audience, one parent sat and seethed. “I've been at these schools for 20 years, and it’s the same thing,” he said, his eyes blazing. “I don’t need no strategies, I don’t need no four-point plan. You can change the head, but the body don’t change."

“Puppets -- people pulling their strings,” the parent spat, as Green tried to bring order. “How do they sleep at night?” 

The chorus of angry shouts surged and ebbed until, finally, at 6:10 p.m., the noise rendered Hite silent. That’s when Bill Green banged his gavel for what surely won’t be the last time. “Excuse me! Dr. Hite is speaking!” Green said. 

That just inflamed the protesters even more. “Save our schools! Save our schools! Save our schools!” they chanted.

For a moment, Green simply sat and listened.

Then he joined in, adding his own voice through the microphone. “Save our schools! Save our schools!”

“That’s what Dr. Hite is trying to do,” he added as the noise died back down.

That’s what Bill Green says he’s trying to do, too.

A 'change agent'

Make no mistake: Bill Green arrives at 440 N. Broad St. as an SRC chair unlike any other. 

He’s not James Nevels or Sandra Dungee Glenn or Robert Archie, who diplomatically supported high-profile superintendents. He’s not Pedro Ramos, cautiously steering the District through a massive financial and leadership crisis.

Instead, he’s here to pick up the pieces and help assemble them into something new. 

“What I am is a change agent,” Green said in an interview. “I’m not here to do the status quo.”

The man whose childhood hero was Bobby Kennedy sees education – “particularly urban education” – as the civil rights issue of our time. He has no interest in half-measures that might boost a few schools or patch a few holes. 

Instead, his mission is twofold.

First, he’s here to help create a new day-to-day educational paradigm (a “platform,” as he calls it) for the entire District. He wants unionized teachers to agree to work rules and hiring practices that allow them to be managed like staffs in the best charters. He wants both District-run and charter schools held to equally high standards.

Second, he’s here to do it all using the budget provided by the governor who appointed him – the governor who, he insists, he will not “embarrass in public.”

In the long run, Green suspects that it may be beyond the power of the city and state alone to support urban schools adequately. The federal government may need to get more involved, he said.

“If another country came to America and did to our children what we do in our public schools, we would think it was an act of war,” he said. 

But for now, it’s all about state government – and to a lesser degree, the city – and what it is prepared to spend. And Green arrives at a time when the message from Harrisburg is clear: The state isn’t interested in spending more. 

“Philadelphia is a foreign nation in Harrisburg, so the question is, 'How much foreign aid are we giving?” said Donna Cooper, who was an aide to former Gov. Ed Rendell and now runs the advocate group Public Citizens for Children and Youth. “It doesn’t matter who the SRC chair is. It could be God, and that would still be an issue.”

So prepare to hear more of what are already becoming familiar mantras for Green: The District “has no taxing authority.” It can only control its expenses, not its revenue. Demanding that Harrisburg restore funding to pre-Corbett levels is futile. Those who want to boost spending should join him in urging the union to make concessions – concessions that will both improve conditions in schools and classrooms, and show Harrisburg that Philadelphia is worth investing in.

“Solving the teachers’ contract is about much more than just what happens in schools,” Green said. “We have to have a platform to allow us to succeed, and then go talk to people about what [funding] is required. The people who want money first are putting the cart before the horse.”

So Green’s goals are ambitious. He’s been developing them for years. But will he have the power to see them realized?

Observers agree: That depends.

A career-making moment

Green is stepping into a position that may not have a lot of built-in executive authority, but does have the potential to carry a lot of clout. Because the SRC hires the superintendent and gets the final say on the budget, it can shape the entire $2.4 billion enterprise. 

“It’s a very powerful position,” said Cooper. “Like any executive of a corporation, if you can hire and fire the top person and have approval of the budget, then you have all the power that you need to influence the organization.”

At the same time, it’s a fundamentally small-p political position – Green can’t be successful if he can’t muster support from both the public and votes from his four SRC colleagues. Wielding the gavel is different from anything he’s done before, even when he was mustering blocs of support for legislation in Council. 

“One of the chair’s responsibilities is to bring people to consensus,” said Lori Shorr, Mayor Nutter’s top education deputy. “That is part of what you’ve got to do in that position.” In Council, she noted, he only needed to represent his constituents. 

Given the practical and political complexity of the task he faces, success is far from assured, even if Green handles his tasks well.

“It’s like, ‘Congratulations – you’ve just been given the opportunity to resolve the Vietnam War,’” said Zack Stalberg of the watchdog group, the Committee of Seventy. 

But if the task would be daunting for anyone, the incentive for Green to succeed is unique. 

Unlike anyone who has chaired the SRC before, Green is a political creature who may well someday ask the public for votes. He could reap a real and tangible reward for delivering the best possible education to the most people. 

Likewise, he could suffer a real blow to his future fortunes if his tenure were to be undone by scandals, ugly politics, busted budgets or anything else. 

Green has been silent on what might come after his five-year term at the SRC; he won’t rule anything out, but says he plans to fulfill his commitment to Hite and the city. “I have the same goals as the SRC chair as [I had] as a city councilman – to help Philadelphia grow and thrive,” he said.

But observers agree that if he wants to stay in the family business – his father was mayor, his grandfather a congressman and legendary Democratic party boss – a successful run at the helm of the SRC would position Green for any number of possible political futures.   

Mayor Green? Senator Green?

Green demurs. “I don’t have ambitions for any particular office,” he said. 

But Cooper sees a man in a potentially career-making position. “Anybody who shows improvement in two or three years, that person will be lauded as a war hero, and be Eisenhower, and get elected within a day,” she said. 

Green’s former City Council colleague Jannie Blackwell sees the same thing. If Green can show significant improvement in Philadelphia’s schools, she said, “for him and his career, the sky’s the limit.”

And if things don’t work out, Blackwell added with a knowing smile, “he can go back to his job at the law firm.”

'We’ll get together'

For now, Green says, it’s “far too early” for anyone to judge him. He’s just beginning a long and complex journey, and a wide range of vexing issues and anxious constituencies await his attention.

And as he sat behind the microphone in 440 for the first time, Green did a lot more listening than talking. 

The crowd tested Green all night, challenging him and the entire SRC, voicing its frustration in testimony and impromptu shouts. All night, Green tried to maintain respectful order, steering clear of anger or impatience, trying to show sympathy.

When teachers and advocates tried to challenge him with questions, he wouldn’t engage (“continue with your testimony”). When the crowd got too unruly, he tried to rein it in. 

But when community advocate “Mama” Gail Clouden predicted fire and brimstone – "the ancestors are not very happy!” – he quoted a Bible verse, Titus 1.5, comparing his task to that of an elder asked to “put what remained into order.” 

When Khyrie Brown, 13, invited Green to visit his struggling school – “I am a young Black man trying to survive in the hood! I want to get somewhere in life!” – Green rose immediately to thank him and take him up on his offer. “I appreciate you,” he said.  

And when Diane Payne, a retired teacher whose testimony boiled with anger, handed Green a copy of a book by charter critic Diane Ravitch – triggering what was by far the audience’s loudest cheer of the evening – Green said not only that he’d read it, but that “we’ll get together and talk.”

He repeated the sentiment to the entire room at the end of the meeting. “There’s a lot we can do together, regardless of how we feel about particular issues.”

It’s clear that Green plans to hold the line on spending. As soon as the meeting was over and the TV cameras turned on him, he repeated his mantra: We have no taxing authority; we must work with what we have. No one is likely to hear Bill Green stand up and demand that Tom Corbett to roll back his budget cuts anytime soon.

But it’s also clear that he wants people to believe that he is here to collaborate in good faith.

He backed Hite’s budget requests and academic proposals. He thanked the people who came out to listen and share. He joked that the meeting wasn’t as angry as it could have been. He expressed hope that people can work together to find solutions. 

And as he prepared to head into a post-meeting press conference to discuss details of Hite’s plans – the first, surely, of many such briefings – he was asked, How did you do?

“I have no idea,” he said with a smile. “I did the best I could. That’s all we ask of our students, and our teachers, and that’s what I did."

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Comments (51)

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 21, 2014 5:00 pm

Green is the poster child for "Size doesn't matter," I agree with him. At least, he's honest about that. Unfortunately, his honesty ends there. He'll do exactly what he's being paid to do as will Hite.

Submitted by MAria (not verified) on February 21, 2014 6:06 pm
Joe, I respect your comments. Can you help me understand that if the district cuts our salary by 13%, if you are a senior career teacher you will be making @79,000. Then add the benefits into the mix and its even lower. In Chicago teachers with the same #of years and education makes about 87,000 now. How will the district be able to attract teachers? When we already make less then the surrounding districts. Also has anyone address why our superintendent makes way more then New York's or Chicago's? YES, they want to make as much money as they can and its a sin.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 10:39 pm
You're looking at the top. The bigger issue is the fact that without steps most teachers are stuck at the bottom.
Submitted by Maria (not verified) on February 22, 2014 7:24 am
I think we are on the same page, because my point is the district keeps stating that they are going to create a contract that will attract teachers? HOW when we they want us working for pennies, our education doesn't matter and our locations need repairs?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 11:34 pm
Size does matter, my son goes to a public school in the Northeast, the principle and teachers are great. Some are Boy Scout Den mothers. This school can go up to 7 or 8th grade. The biggest dent was giving less funding to the public schools when the Phila. School District had the funds. Almost a billion dollars in school funding at one time. Add up all the money giving to every Charter School since 1997. And you do the math
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2014 3:15 am
SRC is an unpaid position. How much work will you do, for free, every week for the next 5 years, to benefit Philly schools?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2014 7:33 am
Their position gives them connections with contractors and law firms. They can help family and friends with these connections.
Submitted by annon (not verified) on April 5, 2014 9:12 am
Archie made a bundle off of his connections.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2014 9:07 am
Yes, a non paying job, my ass !!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2014 7:45 am
I have worked the last five years without a raise!! They do NOT do this for free. They are destroying our schools and they need to be abolished.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 21, 2014 6:47 pm
Maria--Thank you for your comments. You really answered your own questions. It's pure corruption and they'll find folks and pay them as cheaply as possible which is to say, whatever they want to pay. With no unions, no worker rights, no accountability and no conscience, they're sitting on a gold mine. They already don't care about qualifications or degrees etc. They just don't care. It's very uncomplicated--even I get it. Don't make me say it--OK, I shall--"When you don't care, you have nothing to lose."
Submitted by Education Grad ... on February 23, 2014 6:06 pm
Joe, You certainly would have insight into the workings of the central administration, more so than most people, because you were a former principal (I'm assuming in the District). I'd love to hear some of your stories. I know that's not really your shtick though, you're all about action. EGS
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 23, 2014 6:35 pm
EGS----------------Let's meet for lunch and I'll talk your ears off though I may scare you to death before anything else. I ran 2 different prison type population sites and also one of the old ABLE Academies for the District. I ran them all equally badly but tried to be quiet about it. Hite's handlers have given him orders to attack The PFT and that's why he's become more vocal with, of course, Billy's support. Nutter and his peeps are being squeezed out and they don't like it a little bit. Hopefully, Jordan is playing his cards right and we all have to hope he is. Solidarity !!
Submitted by MAria (not verified) on February 21, 2014 7:09 pm
Amen, the truth needs to be told.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 7:57 pm
I find the dismissal of Green out of hand to be interesting. It's like some don't want his ideas to be heard for fear that he might be right. If the Governor, mayor, council, legislature, and damn near all the taxpayers who really pay taxes are on board with a reworked contract, 3 SRC votes will not be hard to find. The union stranglehold on the education debate is over. The fact that they're being out maneuvered by a bunch of newcomers is evidence of the peril they face. Even their allies have set up escape routes. It's over.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 7:52 pm
Every country in the world that is a leader in education, such as Finland, has unionized teachers. The suburban schools which have a large percentage of students from middle income families have unions. Only in urban schools which have a high percentage of students from low income families are the teachers not respected. You think things were bad before, wait until you see what happens without a union!
Submitted by Maria (not verified) on February 21, 2014 9:23 pm
Unions are good for the middle class. This is only happening in urban areas with poor children. I really wish people research before they make comments. Green doesn't have his own ideas. He gets his ideas from a film maker. What is a reworked contract? I should take a pay cut? Would you? I worked from 7:15 am - 5:00 pm today. Stop blaming PFT we didn't create this mess, in the Forbes magazine it said make money open a charter school. This is about a small group making money. Not educating the children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 9:32 pm
"near all the taxpayers who really pay taxes ?" as opposed to who, Teachers and Union members who don't "really" pay taxes? Is that your inference? I wish you would tell the Federal, State and Local government that I don't "really" pay taxes, they keep making deductions from my check every two weeks (and throughout the summer, by the way) and sending me my bill every April 15th. The ignorance of your statement is laughable.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 22, 2014 4:36 pm
Oohh, snippy. I mean the non - governmental workers. The don't get generous salaries, no cost health care, and a subsidized pension. They think your deal is far from awful and they wonder why you complain about it so much. Ask a neighbor who's in the private sector to be honest with you. Just don't go nucular (Republican spelling) when they say what I said. Btw, I believe the best teachers are under paid and if that's you, I wish you well.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on February 23, 2014 1:05 pm
You're talking to a public sector union here. They truly think that your money belongs to them. Their primary goal is to get as much money out of your pockets as possible. They see the real taxpayers, i.e. those that don't make their living off the government, as a cash cow to be milked. That's why it is so important to stop them dead in their tracks. Now is the time to do it. If we don't get the spending under control, Philly will turn into another Detroit.
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on February 26, 2014 9:47 pm
Yup Taxpayer, you are completely right. Unionized workers sit around and think up these magical ways to wring every last cent out of taxpayers. In other news, the school system is not the reason Detroit fell apart. There are many things that caused Detroit to fall and it certainly was not solely because of its public school employees. Taxpayer could you do everyone a favor and try to support your argument with actual facts instead of your own unsupported opinions. Thanks!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 7:49 pm
The whose schools our schools chant is the unions mantra. No! Schools are not run for the benefit of the workers. They are not your schools. But at least youre honest about your goal bleeding the taxpayers with zero accountability to anyone.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 8:03 pm
Get your facts straight! The PFT did not invent the slogan, the PARENTS and COMMUNITY GROUPS did. Those groups are correct the schools in Philadelphia DO belong to them and their children, NOT the carpet baggers from Chicago, Virginia, Boston and Harrisburg. I would have thought you'd agree with that. SMH
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on February 23, 2014 1:51 pm
Amen. Those schools belong to the taxpayers, not the government workers and their welfare queen allies.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 3:10 pm
"welfare queen allies" is a racial epithet. At least you are revealing where you are truly coming from. (TP who apparently has not job or life because he is commenting at all hours)
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on February 23, 2014 7:36 pm
A welfare queen is someone who CHOOSES to live their entire life on welfare. They have no intention of being productive, working taxpayers. Race has nothing to do with it.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 7:33 pm
Submitted by First Grade Teacher (not verified) on February 21, 2014 7:25 pm
We've heard his ideas. He looks to M. Night for insight into public education. Need I say more?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 8:19 pm
Change?...more like chump change Green to me Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 9:21 pm
Easy fix I say....fix poverty and you will fix schools....and everyone will live happily ever after. Wish it were that easy. Visit some of our schools. See the daily abuse our teachers have to edure. I live in a middle a class suburb of children go to a middle class school... the teachers are not terrible...but they are nothing to write home about either...yet my children are a one level readers and ALWAYS advanced on the PSSA....why u may ask? Well, those in the know do not ask...they know why....but I will spell it out for Mr. Green and hos SRC...#1. My children live I a middle a class family (read the research on what growing up poor does to a child emotionally and academically) and #2. In my home education is valued. SO OVER BEING A TEACHER...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 11:27 pm
I see so much confusion. Public Schools started failing when the School Dist and the SRC cut funding for public schools when they did have enough in the budget. Add up all the money every Charter School received since 1997. Add up how much the Public Schools received since 1997. Public Schools was being defeated long before.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 11:09 am
Yes, you are confused. Schools were failing well before charters and the SRC. Decades of mismanagement and a cavaloer attitude towards the concerns of middle class parents, hundreds of thousands of who fled. In fact, per pupil funding has doubled since the takeover in 2001. Inflation is up some 30pct in the same timeframe. Pay and benefits have greatly outstripped inflation, the biggest driver of costs and deficits.. These are facts. They don't fit your rhetoric, but I guess that is the source of your confusion.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 21, 2014 11:54 pm
Sounds like he wants more control of our child's mind. You can't have standardized teaching like in a movie of the future. These children are not robots. My son goes to a public school in the North East. The Principle is great and theirs bad and good kids but she tries her best and the teachers all are Out Standing. Other Public Schools in Phila, kids praise more Public School Teachers than Charter School Teachers. No Offense to Charter School Teachers. New York Public schools go past 12th grade, you can get a college degree at the same Public School. Invest in Public schools, move the Charter School teachers back in Public Schools, Some of the Charter Schools have 100 thousand dollars Gym Flloor. The Children lost pride because we let them learn in harsh conditions because of cutbacks when Phila had enough funds
Submitted by Lisa Haver on February 22, 2014 9:06 am
Education is the civil rights issue of our time. We should be doing what the charters do. Teachers are the most important part of a child's education. We can't afford to pay teachers what they are worth. We have to change the status quo. We need to change union work rules. We need flexibility.Yada yada. Bill Green knows nothing about education except the cliches he has been told to memorize and whatever is in the book by yet another rich person who decided to take up education reform as a hobby. Please let's stop pretending that the opinions of SRC members about education have any basis in reality. They are lawyers and businesspeople, they are not educators. They are elected by no one and they are accountable to no one--except the politicians who appointed them.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 3:48 pm
If the ed establishment status quo hadn't made such a mess of education from the 70's on, there would be no interest from, or need of, reformers to start with. Just stating the obvious. But denial of any resbonsibility for this, like refusing any accountability for outcomes, is the core problem with the Ed status quo interests- pretending as if everything was just fine before those evil charters. such denial of the obvious is a trait deep in your DNA. It destined institutions run by people with that DNA to failure.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 5:54 pm
No one fighting corporate education reform believes that what has existed in the last few decades has been any way equitable. And there is plenty of blame to go around that this was tolerated. But to say the solution is to privatize public schools for corporate interests is to deepen the problem that already existed. Do you really believe that these right-wing hedge fund managers and think tanks have any interest in lower class communities. They are the ones who created the inequity in the first place. You want to put the fox in charge of the hen house!
Submitted by Go-Eagles (not verified) on February 23, 2014 9:22 pm
Decades? Charter schools have been around for 12 years. Right wing hedge fund managers? Do you honestly believe that all of these hedge fund managers are right wing? Au contraire ..... I'll say it again. I don't vote democrat anymore and here is a prime example. You're on the wrong team. You're voting for the wrong team. These left wing hedge fund managers are the ones stealing your money and doing it with a smile.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 23, 2014 10:53 pm
A POX on all their houses and also on all things Pittsburgh !!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 10:38 pm
Who said I was a Democrat? The Democratic Party is full of neoliberals like Bill Clinton and Eli Broad and they are right-wing. A pox on both their houses. We need a new party that represents the 99%.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 22, 2014 10:08 am
The newest privatization line directed at public schools and our teachers. We don't have to dig too deep to figure out what the plan is and who is directing it. <<"If another country came to America and DID to our children what we do in our PUBLIC schools, we would think it was an act of WAR,” he said."We have to change the status quo.">> Lisa has it right and in order for this to be a new day and a declaration of peace "We need to change union work rules. We need flexibility." Yada yada. Keep the pressure on for a locally elected school board and fair funding from the state. Figure something out already with this cigarette tax and sales tax, and stop dilly dallying.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 11:48 am
The solution is always new higher taxes. Taxes are so high you've resorted to completely half baked ideas like a punitively high easily avoidable local cigarette tax. But Never try to spend the existing billions more effectively.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 23, 2014 11:53 am
Effectiveness is in the eye of the beholder and these beholders are NOT going to help the poor, period, end of story. They're poor because they're lazy and on drugs and drink too much and have babies too often so their welfare queens and they love the condition in which they find themselves. It's their own fault !!!!!!! RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by tom-104 on February 23, 2014 2:39 pm
Tell it to the state-run School Reform Commission. At every meeting they are passing million dollar deals which have nothing to do with instruction but go to testing outfits like Pearson for more and more measuring what is not being taught because teachers are too busy testing!
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 22, 2014 4:34 pm
I agree--Look at the eyes of Scott Walker too. What's up wit dat??
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2014 10:07 pm
Schools need to be looked at individually. There is a reason charter schools can afford to run their programs and promote their students, they don't pay the salaries that the district schools do. What is worse, laying off teachers or cutting back salaries to run the schools the way they should be run? Unless the state sends millions in to rescue programs, these are the choices. This is why the city is looking to charter schools and should also be looking to good schools and shutting the bad ones down. Until that happens, more layoffs, more poverty in the city and more taxes. Education can only be improved in so many ways. The public schools as a whole have failed, and much like in any business scenario, it is time for a restructure. Why is that so hard to understand? It already started and it will continue to occur until something works to improve the environment for children.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on February 23, 2014 10:34 pm
Anonymous, What are your metrics for success and failure of a school?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2014 12:45 pm
With William Hite and William Green in charge, it gives me the Willies.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2014 10:53 am
Are we foreign to Harrisburg when they collect our tax dollars?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 27, 2014 9:10 pm
first of all charter schools in Phila were given over 100 million dollars for startup cost. The charter school teachers don't see that money. It is easy to give 100 million dollars of taxpayers money for each charter school. pay the teachers a bootleg salary with minimal benefits and you just created a walmart type environment with the staff who has no voice. That's a way to bust the unions, privatize. second there are so much talk of how Public School teachers get paid. What they do is create presidents, doctors, judges congressmans etc. No one says anything about the salaries of Hite, 100 percent medical and dental benefits they have versus cut half of all benefits the teachers have with more out of pocket expenses. The type of retirement account Hite and the SRC has. Their benefits salaries and retirement combined outweighs the combined teachers benefits. and salaries. And NY is 3 times bigger than Phila. 1 borough is the size of phila and NY has 5 boroughs. But Hite makes more than the one in NY
Submitted by William Santos (not verified) on March 12, 2014 5:27 am
Bill Green is great. He has a number of qualities and he has been a successful man I have hardly seen. Thank you for the update.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2014 10:36 am
How come nobody's complaining about the potential Septa strike? Why does that union get a pass? Bet they aren't paying out of pocket for transportation supplies for their customers. Wanna talk generous salaries?!!!

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